In our personal opinion, this is easiest the smartest move any event promoter could encourage; the 60-horsepower Sea-Doo Spark lends itself to being the single-best vehicle equipped for teaching young racers the nuts and bolts of personal watercraft racing (all without the danger of a incompetent and less-talented racer plowing a 160-horsepower, 551-pound standup into them). We applaud the Handlers for launching this youth-focused move and look forward to seeing lineups lined with kids riding the Spark around the closed course (although including the heavier, 102-horsepower Yamaha EX would allow for a wider entry list in our view).
Here’s the original (unedited) press release:
Pro Watercross, the industry leader in Personal Watercraft (PWC) racing and watercraft related sports including Hydroflight competitions and the new Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) closed course racing – SUPcross continues its innovation with a new PWC racing class for juniors. The new class will be categorized as the Junior Spark Stock 13-15-year-old class and is specifically tailored for the Sea Doo Spark model, which must remain stock, no modifications to the watercraft will be allowed.
This new class is in addition to the junior stand-up ski class and will provide young racers the opportunity to participate on the Pro Watercross National Tour and sanctioned watercross events on the Sea Doo Spark, as well as a chance to compete for the World Championship in November 2018.
Pro Watercross listened to its racers and their families and identified interests in this race class and the exciting possibility of growing the sport with the new generation of watercraft and racers. Fun and competition will be the main objectives for the new class, but safety standards will be strictly enforced.
Key areas to note for this year’s youth classes are:
- New class – Junior Spark Stock 13-15-year-old.
- Complete rules for the Junior Spark Stock class will be released soon.
- To introduce more youth to the sport and in turn grow the sport.
- Not all younger athletes are attracted to the stand-up class.
- A maximum of 10 competitors will be allowed on the line at one time.
After careful consideration and discussion there will NOT be a junior sport class – we reviewed all the safety aspects of the class and felt that it did not meet the criteria for youth participation.
Pro Watercross is looking forward in identifying the next PWC race generation and “superstars”. Any questions regarding the new class, contact Pro Watercross or visit the Pro Watercross website at www.ProWatercross.com